It took the approaching birth of our first child to realise the absence of the necessary family household appliance...
a tumble dryer.
Although this was once considered a luxury item by my husband and I, we decided to go all-in and purchase a top-of-the-line tumble dryer machine to officially tumble roll our way into our new roles as parents (which of course, warrants the use of "dad jokes").
The position for our new prized-possession was already reserved in the attic next to the washing machine. But unfortunately, the road to get our new dryer into that position was more bumpy than we could have imagined...
A critical customer
Before I elaborate, let's just say I wasn't the biggest fan of the brand Coolblue before I made my purchase. Coolblue is known for their overly enthusastic customer service and eccentric marketing campaigns. Their communication style, in my opinion, sometimes comes across as too forced and irritating. Prior to this experience I would have rated my brand perception as slightly negative.
While buying a clothes dryer is useful, it's definitely not fun. The more that you research, the more you discover necessary considerations and potential problems. The process is exhausting, until you get so fed up and decide to just order the damn thing already!
Once finally ordered, the dryer was scheduled for delivery the next day. By e-mail, Coolblue suggested to print homemade confetti, and to throw it at delivery staff when I open the door. I rolled my eyes in response.
As soon as I finished reading that email, I received a second to confirm the dryer was on its way. Awesome!
As promised in the e-mail, I was called by the driver half an hour before the delivery. To deliver the dryer as smoothly as possible, the driver asked whether we have an old dryer that they could take with them, and whether they could unpack the new dryer for us. Thank you, kind sir!
Two strong guys knocked on our door with our new dryer. The dryer was lifted to the right spot on the second floor, with the greatest of ease. They installed the dryer on the spot and used the ordered duo coupler - Coolblue advised me to purchase at the time of ordering - so that the drain hoses for both the washing machine and the dryer fit through the same drain pipe.
And now time to wash
Thanks to the hormones that were stored up in my body - I was now about 36 weeks pregnant - I was up early to do the first wash the next day. As beautiful as the usefulness of a tumble dryer felt, I was surprised when the dryer worryingly stopped after an hour. The water tank was full and had to be emptied manually. Was this really the latest model with the best rating? Going down the stairs, with my heavily pregnant belly and water reserves, was certainly not a fun situation to be in.
Unfortunately, I received the same message again half an hour later on the machine. And at the following drying sessions, too. The luxury I expected from owning a tumble dryer soon degraded to a complete burden.
So as you can imagine, we were not happy with the performance of our dryer. Time to call the Coolblue customer service!
In the phone queue, I hear a tape where an employee explains how much they want to help us. And no, they don't just want to help a little. But really help very, very, very, very much.
Overdoing it can be an art form.
But to be completely honest, we were helped very well on the phone. A friendly and thoughtful employee came on the line to help us, and the conclusion of the conversation was that a mechanic would come to assist us shortly.
As agreed, the technician arrived at the appointed time. He took out his diagnostic equipment and assessed the dryer at various points.
"No manufacturing fault", was his conclusion after about a minute of inspection.
The real cause of the problem was completely unexpected. The enthusiasm with which the Coolblue installers had pushed the two drain hoses of the washer and dryer into the duo coupling of the drain pipe was overdoing it, in true Coolblue fashion. The men had put so much force on the two drainage hoses to place it in the duo-coupling, that the hose of the dryer was crushed and no longer draining water.
A costly mistake
Because this was not a manufacturing fault, the technician had to pass on the cost of his visit to us - 120 euros.
Time for another call to the Coolblue customer service. The employee understood our complaint immediately, and reimbursed us for the technician cost without question. They were sympathetic with our situation and shared our frustration.
Finally, we had the luxury of a working clothes dryer!
Customer service from the highest level
Although the end of this story took a long time to get to, and there was plenty of frustration on our end, I cannot fault Coolblue in any way for how they handled the situation. They made a critical customer so happy that after this experience, we became repeat customers.
It isn't uncommon for things to go wrong when delivering a product, but it's the way a company deals with the problem that will dictate how you feel after the experience. They were able to respond to our problem in a timely manner - a true indication that their internal organisation communications are handled efficiently.
Coolblue offered us a distinctive customer experience at omnichannel level through various contact points; via the website, e-mail, telephone, and face-to-face. Although I wasn't happy with the situation, Coolblue still exceeded the level of customer service that we expected. Perhaps we took their overly enthusiastic customer service style for granted!